Maintaining safety and infection control during construction and renovation projects is a top priority — and a difficult challenge — for environmental services managers. Among the most difficult components of the issue is preventing infection.
The transmission of infection or infectious agents is a complex process, according to Healthcare Facilities Management. Multiple modes or mechanisms of transmission require multiple prevention strategies. Some strategies involve designing the healthcare environment to support optimal practice by designing the built environment in ways that facilitate ease of cleaning and disinfection to limit opportunities for transmission. As staff members on the front lines of infection prevention, environmental services (EVS) professionals are well qualified to help inform these design decisions during new construction and renovation projects.
In the case of renovation projects of existing spaces, they provide an opportunity to update facility infrastructure and improve existing design to incorporate new best practices for infection prevention. When renovating an existing unit or department, the project team needs to consider a range of issues. They include:
- Completing a critical review of existing workflows.
- Analyzing tasks in clinical areas to determine if some design features are barriers to compliance with infection prevention practices and modify if possible./li>
- Installing splash guard barriers between sinks and clean supplies. If supplies must necessarily be stored next to a sink
- Including an infection preventionist in the design discussions.